House Of Hammer: Hammering it in
Armie Hammer’s fall from grace is a textbook example of how to lose superstardom in a swish. But did we really need a lengthy three-part documentary on his downfall?
“Disaster and disgrace
The king has lost his crown
He’s clumsy like a clown
The world is upside down
The king has lost his crown” (ABBA)
The Swedish sensations ABBA wrote the above song forty years before the #MeToo movement hit civilization and some years before another much more viral pandemic hit us all. It was during the other pandemic that the Hollywood heart-throb from Call Me by Your Name lost his crown.
Multiple accusations of cannibalistic I-want-to-eat-you-before-I-beat-you type surfaced. The world was shocked. As if sexting began and would end with Armie. Our first reaction to the lurid allegations was disbelief. Armie? Armie Hammer? The quintessential wholesome American pretty boy? Nah. Must be a mistake.
But it wasn’t Armie lost his family, reputation, stardom and wealth almost overnight. Now this 3-part documentary entitled House Of Hammer on Discovery+ wants us to believe there is much more to Armie’s evil designs than meets the eye.
There isn’t, actually House Of Hammer is three hours of hammering on the same point over and over again. There are no new insights to Armie’s diabolic designs. We get the point: he sent improper texts to several women who came forward with their woes. Which is a good thing. But hang on. One model Courtney Vucekovich who is extensively used in the documentary to prove what a sex monster Armie is, had to lately eat back some of her words when an image flashed in the docu-series of a lust bite apparently on Ms Vucekovich body proved to be of ambiguous origin. The image had to be removed from the docu-series.
Also, and this is most significant at the end as one of the text messages flashed on screen where Armie details what he would like to do to Vucekovich, she responded with a heart emoji.
The man is making an indescribably indecent proposal and the lady responds with a heart emoji. This doesn’t add up. All these ladies tell us in different ways that they were dazzled by Armi’s looks, wealth and fame. They therefore ignored his obviously dark side that lurked just underneath the charming exterior. If you are myopically focused on the fruits, don’t blame the tree for the rotten fruits.
The documentary is a tedious hatchet job, filled with half-truths and cringe-worthy dramatic recreations of what could have transpired between Armie Hammer and his lady friends, including clammy hands typing sleazy messages into the phone and computer.
The one ace that the documentary has is Armie’s aunt Casey Hammer who tells us she has come forward to expose her family. She first rips apart her grandfather, then her father then the entire family. No one denies the veracity of her allegations. What seems very strange is that the twisted deranged family’s closet secrets have come tumbling out after the star of the family and the global audiences’ passport into the murky secrets, has been disgraced and banished.
Armie Hammer is jobless and has no future to look forward to. What purpose does this documentary serve by digging dirt that’s already stuck to Armie’s sleeve? Yes, he is kinky is his bedroom. Doesn’t that kind of make him exciting fodder for documentation? Punish Hammer by all means. But please don’t piggy ride his story to become famous.
Subhash K Jha is a Patna-based film critic who has been writing about Bollywood for long enough to know the industry inside out. He tweets at @SubhashK_Jha.
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